News in Brief: May 12, 2014
School Janitors, SEIU Local 888 – Malden
School janitors hit out at Malden City Mayor Gary Christenson and school superintendent David DeRuosi, Jr. in a protest in the city last week over plans that would see the outsourcing of school custodian jobs to a private contractor. According to the janitors who are part of the SEIU local 888, there are 28 school custodians, the majority of whom live in Malden or in surrounding cities. The jobs are full-time with good wages and benefits. With an average of 16 years of service to Malden, they say the loss of these jobs will not only be devastating to the custodians and their families, but to the entire community as well.
Domestic Workers – State House
The Massachusetts Senate passed bill on Thursday, which is set to guarantee basic labor protections for domestic workers, including sick days, time off, and measures to limit discrimination in the workplace. Advocates say the bill will make a real difference to tens of thousands of domestic workers and their families in Massachusetts.
350 Massachusetts – State House
Climate activists demonstrated outside the State House on Thursday, telling the legislature that time is running out for the state to divest from fossil-fuel related industries. 350 Massachusetts says that May 8 was the “people’s deadline” to move a senate divestment bill out of committee, which would ensure that Massachusetts would be the first state to divest from fossil fuels. A rally was held outside the capitol building with flowers delivered to supportive members of the Joint Committee on Public Service, and alarm clocks to those legislators who the activists say “need to wake up.”
Governor Deval Patrick – UMass Amherst
Speaking at UMass Amherst on Friday, Governor Deval Patrick called for the state to end its reliance on coal-fired power plants within four years. The governor also called for a “clean energy standard” that would prioritize energy efficiency, and the use of renewable sources of power, with a view to reducing the state’s carbon emissions by 50 per cent by the year 2050.